Turkish Shelling Near Afrin After Syrian Government Allied Troops Arrive

Turkey calls on Washington to take steps against PKK

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The Turkish operation is primarily aimed against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which is the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces armed coalition that enjoys the United States support.

Syrian television had earlier shown the group of fighters passing through a checkpoint that bore the insignia of the Kurdish security force, some chanting "one Syria, one Syria", and driving further into Afrin.

The report added that the popular forces have been deployed to specific areas where the violence is occurring to help locals defend their villages and homes against the Turkish aggression. "This could not have happened without Russia's consent".

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Turkish and Syrian intelligence services may cooperate for common purposes in case of urgent need within the Operation Olive Branch, Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for the Turkish president, said February 21. Putin is a key backer of the Syrian government.

The alliance is notable as Syrian government forces and their allies * a href="https://newswire.storyful.com/storylines/*/stories/195096" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" *recently clashed with USA backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces in Deir Ezzor, a city in southeast Syria.

On Monday, Turkey warned the Syrian government against sending troops into Afrin to back the YPG militia.

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Kalin said that presently there are no direct diplomatic contacts between Ankara and Damascus.

Since his resignation in November, Barzani officially holds no governmental post but remains the leader of the KDP, the largest and most influential party in the Kurdistan Region.

The military also said "utmost care and sensitivity" is being put on avoiding harm to civilians. Erdogan's government maintains its offensive is aimed exclusively at expelling YPG militants and that its troops will withdraw once the operation achieves its goals.

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